Gift Guide For Motorcyclists
By Gregg Geerbaux
One Size Fits Most
Need a gift idea for a motorcyclist? While a new motorcycle might be nice it’s likely beyond the limits for most our gift budgets. The good news is you don't have to spend a bundle to find some very useful gifts that any rider will appreciate receiving.
Gifts To Avoid
Avoid the temptation to select items like clothing and riding gear. While getting a new leather jacket, a helmet, or a pair of boots is nice, there’s always the issue of size and style. Get either one wrong and you’ve disappointed someone who’s now stuck with a gift they can’t wear or don’t like and will have to trek to the store to make an exchange. If it was bought online, the exchange process can take weeks.
Same goes with biker bling. There are a ton of accessories that you can add to a motorcycle but again you have to consider getting the right part to fit the right bike model while also ensuring that it’s something that person actually wants to install on their bike. I wouldn’t recommend it unless you make sure the item can be returned for a full refund or unless you’re standing in the dealership and they say to you, “This sure would look good on my bike”. At that point, get the exact part number, color, size, and options available.
Great Gift Ideas
What are some great gift ideas for bikers? Of course it depends on the person, but the simple answer is, “Get them something they’ll use and enjoy”. With that in mind, here are some ideas that will help you take care of the next gift giving event.
Books or a Calendar
Print is not dead despite the deluge of electronica that surrounds us. Many people still enjoy turning the pages of a good book. The subject choices are almost endless and include travel, history, biographies, motorcycle maintenance, and books that cater to a particular make or model. Most calendars fall into one of three categories; the motorcycles themselves, motorcycle travel shots, and motorcycle babes in bikinis. The choice is yours.
Most riders like a clean bike, some to the point of obsession. You can find prepackaged kits with everything you need to make it shine or you can put together your own personalized collection. Who can’t use a new chamois?
Tire Pressure Gauge
They come in a lot of different styles these days including the old fashioned pencil style. Some have dial gauges and others give you a digital readout. You can even get one that talks! In English or Spanish, no less. Tires are important for safety and they should be properly inflated for every ride.
Portable Air Compressor
Whether you’re at home or on the road, a 12-volt portable air compressor can come in handy. Most will plug into your bike’s power outlet or have battery connection cables. Prices are very affordable, starting at about $30. Low budget alternative – a can of Fix-A-Flat.
Portable Battery Booster
A dead battery can happen anytime. Modern technology has brought about the invention of anti-gravity batteries which are small yet can hold a charge for several months. In addition to being able to breathe life into dead bikes most of them have adapters for powering up cellphones, laptops, digital cameras and the like.
As dependable as modern motorcycles are these days, a lot of riders no longer carry a tool roll but there comes a time when having a screwdriver, a pair of pliers, or some electrical tape can save the day. If not your day, perhaps one of your riding buds. You can buy a prepackaged kit or get creative and make up your own.
Did he say ear plugs? Yes, and maybe the reason you didn’t hear me is because you’ve been riding for years without wearing any ear protection. You may think the loud pipes are to blame but actually it's the wind noise which can cause irreversible hearing loss over a period of time. A custom set of fitted ear molds is the best solution but even the inexpensive foam plugs will help lessen the effect. The ones with the cord attachments look geeky but you’ll lose them less often.
Roadside Assistance Package
You don’t want to be stranded with a bike that won’t run, but if you are, being able to dial up AAA for a rescue tow will save the day, or night. The coverage is an add-on to the regular AAA membership so you also receive all of the other AAA benefits in addition to towing, emergency fuel, locksmith services, bike trailer coverage, and motorcycle travel interruption coverage. Motorcycle coverage is only available for AAA members in Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, and Puerto Rico.
Digital Video Camera
We live in a digital world and th0se miniature sized video recorders can deliver a high definition record of your latest ride. Attachments let you hang them on your bike or fasten them to your helmet for hands free recording sessions.
And if, by some chance, you don't find any of these ideas inspirational, go the gift card route. One size fits all.